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By | June 20, 2001

      California-based middleware company OpenTV has bought struggling interactive specialist Static, which amongst other assets owns TV entertainment service Playjam. The deal sees OpenTV acquire all of Static’s shares in a combined stock and cash transaction worth about $59 million (E69m). Approximately 14 per cent of the gross deal value, all in ordinary shares, is being held back pending certain earn-out provisions. In total, Static shareholders will receive approximately 2.6 million shares of OpenTV’s Class A ordinary shares and approximately $17 million in cash.

      OpenTV CEO James Ackerman says the company is targeting other acquisitions, and added that OpenTV was “moving further up the value chain”. Content, of the form being supplied by Static, would “one day” be more important to OpenTV in terms of revenue than its current platform middleware.

      The sale ends a period of considerable uncertainty for Static, once a darling of the dotcom boom, that in May last year pulled its own planned GBP200 million stock-market floatation. Deals were reputedly mooted with both Turner Broadcasting and Canal+ and CEO Jasper Smith says Static has made around 100 presentations to banks and venture capitalists.

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